Students from minority communities in state will have 13,000 scholarships to avail of in the next academic year.
The state’s minority development department has announced scholarships for higher studies for minority students residing in the state. While 11,000 scholarships are for professional courses such as medicine and engineering the rest are for graduate studies.
Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Sikh students whose annual family income is below Rs 2.5 lakh will be eligible. Merit will be the sole criteria, so scores in the Common Entrance Test in case of medicine and engineering or Higher Secondary Certificate exams will be considered.
Around 7,080 scholarships have been reserved for Muslims. “We’re focusing on education as the 2006 Sachar committee report called for more opportunities in education to improve the overall lot of the Muslim community,’’ said Thancy Thekke-kara, department secretary.
The state will grant up to Rs 25,000 a year for professional courses and Rs 5,000 for graduate courses. While 1,000 scholarships are reserved for medical studies, 10,000 are for graduate studies in technical programmes. The department has allotted Rs 15 crore for this with a provision to hike the funds if required.
Last week, the department decided to set up three Industrial Training Institutes in Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Malegaon for minority community students.
The department has an annual budget of Rs 180 crore and at least half of it this year will be reserved to provide higher and technical education to youth. The department was set up in 2007 after Justice Rajinder Sachar’s report showed that Indian Muslims were trailing behind Other Backward Classes.
The report says only one out of 25 undergraduate students and one out of 50 post-graduate students in premier institutions is a Muslim.